What a beautiful year 2017 has been. It was a year filled with tremendous amount of failure, stress, push backs, intense periods of lows and days when I just couldn’t bring myself to get up again… but I did. 2017 was the year I made drastic changes, I moved to downtown Toronto, started going to school full time while I worked full time at my day job, as well as my side hustle and blog. It was also the year in which I got my first speeding ticket yikes!

2017 was a year when I decided to take magnificent risks in order to get myself to where I wanted to be: a tranquil place of peace and happiness. I abruptly quit my job one day in the summer because I decided it just wasn’t helping me get to the place I wanted to go to. I was jobless for a month reevaluating life, spending countless hours by the candlelight going through existential crises and questioning every step I had taken in the past, however I kept working on my blog and searched for positions that sparked flickers of light in my soul, and before long I found my dream job and I haven’t been happier and more fulfilled.

I decided to reach out to fellow creatives in the city and network despite that fact it brought out all sorts of anxiety inside of me. As a result though, I met so many amazing new people this year and I am so glad to have them as a part of my life. I had decided earlier in the year that I would strive to surround myself with positivity and poetry, which is exactly what I did. I read more books (will be doing a list soon), watched more movies (another list perhaps), hung out with friends and truly expanded my social circle in a healthy way. Instead of looking for affirmations and acceptance from others, I looked for ways to coexist with the differences and see the beauty in it. Instead of forming an echo chamber of sorts, I pushed myself out of my comfort zones and challenged my ideals every opportunity I got.

This past year, I truly explored my creativity and its limits. I had been struggling with the way I had been expressing myself on the blog, as well as my art. I was always caught between what I really wanted to express and what I thought would be successful. Thus, I was always in a constant state of conflict, resulting in mediocre output and minimal satisfaction as a result. Therefore, I decided to use this time to just freely explore all aspects available and find new ways to express myself that would result in both inner satisfaction and external success.

think I have found a way… but one never knows until she tries right? So, 2018 is going be the year in which I shall try all these concepts and directions I have conjured up over the past few months and seeing where it takes me. I also decided during this past year to change my Instagram and Blog’s name from Fatima Zehra to A Painted Soul. I had been wanting to change the identity but wasn’t too confident about it until I decided to just take the plunge and do it since it was what I truly felt on doing at the time. I decided to change the direction of my feed as well as my content, which is why my blog has been a little quiet over the past few months. However, now that I have planned a clear direction and know exactly where I need to take my blog, I am excited for the year ahead.

I will be starting a sub-blog and Instagram of sorts under the name of, Soul of Orion – there is a cute story behind the name which I will be sharing once the blog/channel goes live. I decided to do this as it will be a channel in which I will be sharing snip bits, albeit raw, of the visual poet within me. A place where my only concern would be to be true to myself instead of worrying about the logistics of making it an “external success.” A place of freedom, poetry, art, and the hidden me. Eeeck! I am super excited for this project!

Other than that, I am hoping to launch my Youtube channel sometime this year, but there is a lot of planning involved so I can’t truly say when exactly that is going to happen.

a painted soula painted soula painted soula painted soula painted soula painted soula painted soula painted soul

Photography by Tyler Nemmeth

I want 2018 to be a year of incredible creative hustle minus the fear and doubts of failure. A year full of art, poetry, growth, the true self and love ☾

Happy New Year, darlings!

fatima zehra

Follow Me on My Adventures! Sign Up to My Mailing List to Receive Weekly Doses of Wanderlust and Style Inspirations!

Fatima Zehra

Fatima Zehra

A dreamer and a storyteller at heart, Fatima's aim in life is to live as creatively as possible while inducing intention in everything she does as of late. It is because of such intention that Soul of Orion was born. A playground free of rules, fear of expectations and the likes, where she can freely express herself and her work as well as chronicle her journey of being, called life.


  • Holly says:

    Happy New Year Fatima! I’m so proud of you for everything you have achieved this year.

    You have moved in a positive direction and inspired me to do so as well! I know 2018 will be a creative and prosperous year for you. I wish you the best and I’m on your team 🙂

    Let’s see what the coming year has in store for us

    xoxo Holly

  • Ruya says:

    Such a wonderful post! I’ve been thinking about what direction I want to take my blog (and my life!) and this post inspired me so much especially when you mentioned the part about being stuck but pushing through your comfort zone. Keep making posts like this!


  • Michelle W says:

    Such pretty photos, you look so gorgeous!

  • Iesha F says:

    Thank you Fatima for sharing your year with us. I’m so proud of you for exploring yourself, being your authentic self. You are truly an inspiration and I can’t wait to see what this new year has in store for you 🙂